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Location Senegal, Tambacounda
Central coordinates 13o 2.00' West  12o 55.00' North
IBA criteria A3
Area 913,000 ha
Altitude 16 - 311m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description The park lies in south-eastern Senegal, straddling the upper Gambia river and its tributaries (the Koulountou and the Niokolo-Koba), and close to and, in part, along the international frontier with Guinea, where it is contiguous with Badiar National Park (GN001). The park is largely flat, but includes a line of low hills in the east, reaching up to around 200 m (maximum 311 m at Mont Assirik). Much of the area is formed from laterite (iron pans) and sediments overlying Cambrian sandstone beds that outcrop in places. There are large areas of flood-plain and marsh (mainly in abandoned riverbeds and behind levées), inundated during the seasonal rains (June to October); mean annual rainfall is over 1,000 mm. The vegetation includes southern Sudan–Guinea savanna, with gallery forest and more luxuriant vegetation along watercourses and Vetiveria grasses or herbaceous savanna dominated by Andropogon gayanus in the valleys and plains. Flooded grassland areas are composed of Paspalum orbiculare and Echinocloa sp. Dry forest contains patches of bamboo Oxytenanthera abyssinica. The ravines and gallery forest include typical plant species of the Guinea–Congo Forest biome such as lianas and Raphia sudanica, Baissea multiflora, Nauclea latifolia, Dalbergia saxatilis and Landolphia dulcis. The vegetation on the slopes and hills, rocky outcrops, alluvial sands and iron pans is different. Semi-aquatic species and annuals appear along rivers and on periodically inundated sands. Dry forest or herbaceous savanna is found along the borders of some ponds, and thickets of thorn-bush, Mimosa pigra, occupy the centre of some marshes. Marsh vegetation on higher ground and acid soils includes Oryza brachyantha (wild rice) and, on humid banks, localized species such as Christiana africana, Cola laurifolia, Cynometra vogelii, Syzygium guineense, and Ziziphus amphibia occur. Riverbank species also include Acacia nilotica, Khaya senegalensis, Erythrophleum guineense, Ceiba pentandra, Afzelia africana and Borassus sp. Over 1,500 plant species have been recorded in the park.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. A total of 330 bird species has been recorded from the site, including sporadic records of two species of global conservation concern. Marmaronetta angustirostris has been observed wintering in the park and there is also one record of a pair with three chicks in April 1979. There are a number of records of Falco naumanni on the site during January, including one record of c.80 birds in 1980. The restricted-range Lagonosticta virata has been recorded from a site c.30 km north of the park boundary. Information about the species’ presence in this area is lacking, but if further survey work finds that suitable habitat is present and the species appears to be well established this could justify extending the boundary of this IBA to include the relevant area. This is the only IBA in Senegal in which the biome-restricted Camaroptera chloronata has been recorded (see Table 2). The first African Waterbird Census of the site in 1997 recorded 2,500 Plectropterus gambensis; large numbers of the Afrotropical ducks Dendrocygn bicolor and D. viduata also use the park’s wetlands.

Non-bird biodiversity: Records from the park include 80 mammal species, 38 reptiles, 20 amphibians and 60 fish, as well as numerous invertebrates. Carnivores include Lycaon pictus (EN). The only Senegalese populations of the mammals Taurotragus derbianus (LR/nt) and Loxodonta africana (EN) are found in the park. There are also around 150 Pan troglodytes (EN) living in the gallery forest and on the slopes of Mont Assirik, at the north-west limit of their distribution. All three African crocodiles occur in the park, including Crocodylus cataphractus (DD) and Osteolaemus tetraspis (VU).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bearded Barbet Pogonornis dubius resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fox Kestrel Falco alopex resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-legged Sparrowhawk Accipiter erythropus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Adamawa Turtle-dove Streptopelia hypopyrrha resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Turaco Tauraco persa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-bellied Roller Coracias cyanogaster resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Honeyguide Indicator maculatus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Little Green Woodpecker Campethera maculosa resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow Penduline-tit Anthoscopus parvulus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fanti Saw-wing Psalidoprocne obscura resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pied-winged Swallow Hirundo leucosoma resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sun Lark Galerida modesta resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Oriole Warbler Hypergerus atriceps resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronota resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blackcap Babbler Turdoides reinwardii resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Glossy-starling Lamprotornis purpureus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bronze-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis chalcurus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-crowned Robin-chat Cossypha albicapilla resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-fronted Black-chat Myrmecocichla albifrons resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crimson Seedcracker Pyrenestes sanguineus resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Firefinch Lagonosticta larvata resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lavender Waxbill Estrilda caerulescens resident  1998  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2001 high not assessed medium
  unset
-

Energy production and mining mining and quarrying likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - large dams likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Niokolo Koba National Park 913,000 is identical to site 913,000  
Niokolo-Koba National Park World Heritage Site 913,000 is identical to site 913,000  
Parc national du Niokolo-Koba UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 913,000 is identical to site 913,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   72%
Forest   27%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

References Dupuy and Verschuren (1977), IUCN (1987a), Morel and Morel (1990), Payne (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Parc National du Niokolo-Koba. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife